(Originally posted December 24, 2013)
Friends, I have been where you are now, and how well I remember how dark that place is. Because of some very bad choices made by you and/or your spouse, you are alone. Your spouse has moved out. Everyone around you seems to have friends & family, happiness, and a big goofy grin as they shop for gifts. But all YOU want to do is crawl in a hole and disappear from the world. At times it seems as though the misery you’re feeling will never go away, and you’ll remain in this dark place forever.
In July 1989, Tiffani and I had been married for 23 months when she left with our two children to go live with her parents in California. As a “perfectionist” heavy metal guitarist, I had demonstrated by my actions that I was married more to my music than I was to her. So she made the decision in her heart that if she was going to be treated as a single mom, then she was going to live as one.
In November of that year, she flew back to Charleston, South Carolina (where I was stationed by the US Air Force) to bring our toddler daughter back to me. Then, ignoring all my pleas to come home to stay with me, she flew back to California. That Christmas was the most wretched holiday I have ever lived through. I was a baby Christian at the time, having given my life to the Lord in August 1989. I certainly didn’t have any long-standing faith to lean on. I was just barely learning to crawl as a believer at that time. To be quite honest, I wanted to die. I just wanted Jesus to take me home to heaven, away from all the pain. But when I looked into my little girl’s eyes, I knew that for the time being, SHE was the one who I needed to live for. She needed me.
I am thankful that I had made a couple of good Christian friends… friends that were far more mature in their faith than I was. They refused to let me hide away. They knew that I needed to stay active, and not wallow in self-pity. They made sure I came to church and let people love on me and my little girl. They made certain that I always had people checking up on me, loving me through the trials. Quite frankly, if I hadn’t allowed myself to be taken to these events, I may not have made it through. Left alone, I would likely have let the darkness overtake me, swallow me whole… perhaps even taken my life.
I do not doubt that your heart hurts – even to the point of it being a physical pain. Yes, that pain is REAL. There were several times that I, at 23-24 years old, thought I was having a heart attack – it hurt that bad.
My message to you today is to stay involved. DO NOT let the pain overtake you. No matter how much you want to go hide away. Instead, surround yourself with family that loves you, and with believing friends that will lift you up in prayer. Methodically and specifically put PRAYING PEOPLE in your inner circle. Make yourself accountable to your pastors and elders. Volunteer your time at your local fellowship, doing something – ANYTHING – to keep yourself about the business of God’s Kingdom.
I cannot promise you that your spouse will return (even though mine eventually did in June 1990) – that is completely in God’s hands. What I CAN promise you is that God has not forgotten you. He knows your pain, and I believe He weeps with you. Psalm 56:8 says: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
So to all our friends who are standing for their marriages, know that we – Jason & Tiffani – are praying for you. We are praying for peace in your homes, comfort in your hearts, and restoration in your marriages. We know that our God is in the business of miracles in the lives of His children. May you know HIS peace, HIS joy, and HIS love, in spite of your pain.
A few scriptures to lighten your burdens:
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Revelation 21:4 And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.
Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
A Song of Ascents.
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
Image used with permission from smarnad / FreeDigitalPhotos.net